Located off the coast of Quang Ngai province, small Ly Son Island (also known as Cu Lao Re) is a growing holiday spot for Vietnamese tourists yet somehow it has eluded the foreign travellers radar. A ferry from the mainland takes about an hour and Ly Son can be an interesting little getaway for fresh cheap seafood, photo ops and cultural insight.
Standing atop of Ly Son’s highest peak gives visitors a literal and figurative snapshot of why it’s known as garlic island: every inch of useable land grows garlic, shallots and onions, a neat patchwork of greens and beige blanketing the ground, engulfing houses, tombs and any other obstacle. Renowned for its quality and mild taste, Ly Son garlic is grown in tidy rows with a layer of sand on top of the volcanic soil.
We were told this prevents the soil from getting too hot in the daytime and at night, cools it down quickly. Traditionally it’s planted in September and harvested February and March, though irrigation now allows for year round activity. As you ride around you’ll smell the garlicky aroma wafting from the fields. This island is great for foodies, not so much for vampires.
Aside from garlic, the island’s other industry is fishing and tourism, the trifecta coming together at restaurants serving cheap seafood with plenty of sweet garlic and onions. A seafood dinner is delicious fuel for your exploration of the sights. Aside from the magnificent panoramic view from Mount Thoi Loi, there’s a small natural stone archway, many pagodas including one inside a cliff facing the ocean and quaint daily scenes of fishing boats and women planting and harvesting heaps and heaps ... Travelfish members only (Full text is around 700 words.)
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